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All In With Chris Hayes, Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

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ALL IN with CHRIS HAYES
September 23, 2014


Guest: Ayman Mohyeldin, Sen. Chris Murphy, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, William
McCants, Robert Costa, Barney Frank, J.P. Crowley


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST OF "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" (voice-over):
Tonight on "All In."

The first wave of air strikes inside Syria. The U.S. building a
coalition that includes five Arab nations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We now
have an opportunity to send a very clear message that the world is united.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES (voice-over): Primary target? ISIS.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. OBAMA: We are going to do what is necessary to take this fight
to this terrorist group.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES (voice-over): But, there was a secondary target too.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER (1): The Khorasan Group.

REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, THE PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: Khorasan Group.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Khorasan Group.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Khorasan Group.

PRES. OBAMA: Khorasan Group.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES (voice-over): We will look at just who the Khorasan group is
and just how long could this new war last. Then, renewed calls for
congress to take action on an authorization of military force. We will
talk to one of the congressman demanding that. Plus, new political attack
ad highlighting ISIS.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT BROWN, (R) FMR MASSACHUSETTS SENATOR: President Obama and
Senator Shaheen seem confused about nature of the threat. Not me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES (voice-over): "All In" starts right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HAYES: Good evening from New York. I am Chris Hayes. It is being
described by the Pentagon as only the beginning. More U.S. Airstrikes on
targets inside Syria and Iraq today as part of the expanded bombing
campaign, which began with an extensive attack on ISIS in Syria last night.

And, now includes strikes on a different group said they plotting an
attack on the U.S. President Obama announced this morning that five Arab
countries are participating in the operation. A key victory for White
House looking to tout its broad support in the region, particularly from
Sunni Muslim Nations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. OBAMA: We are joined in this action by our friends and
partners, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and
Qatar. America is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with these nations
on behalf of our common security.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Well, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE all confirmed
they have flown missions in Syria. But, Qatar is believed to have offered
only logistical or political support. On the sidelines of the U.N. General
Assembly in New York, the President later met with some of those partners
to recognize their participation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. OBAMA: I just want to say thank you to all of you. This is
obviously not the end of an effort but is rather a beginning. But, I am
confident with the kind of partnership that is represented here that we
will be able to be successful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Pentagon also filled in more detailed today about the military
operation last night in Syria around 20 missile attacks, beginning around
8:30 Eastern daylight time and lasting several hours.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LT. GEN. WILLIAM MAYVILLE, JR., DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS J3: Coalition
strikes targeted ISIL training camps, headquarters, commanding control
facilities, logistical nodes, armored vehicles and leadership. We are
striking through the depths of ISIL`s formations because we are trying to
disrupt their support basis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: According to the London base, Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights, they have been monitoring casualties throughout the civil war
there. The airstrikes killed at least 120 militant fighters as well as
eight civilians including three children. The U.S. Senate received no
indication civilians been killed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LT. GEN. MAYVILLE, JR.: We are unaware of any civilian casualties;
but, obviously, limiting civilian casualties is a top priority for the
United States. And, if any reports of civilian casualties emerge, we will
fully investigate them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: As Pres. Obama attends U.N. meetings in New York this week,
questions remained about what kind of reception they will get from the
international community. But, at least one key figure, U.N. Secretary-
General Ban Ki-moon offered cautious support for the military action in
Syria.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAN KI-MOON, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: For more than a year, I have
sounded the alarm bells about the brutality of extremist armed groups in
Syria. I think it is undeniable, and the subject of broad international
consensus that these extremist groups oppose an immediate threat to
international peace and security.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said his country might add it
supports to the air campaign. While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also
in New York for U.N. General Assembly Meetings condemned the U.S.
Airstrikes as illegal, because they were not approved or coordinated with
Syria`s Assad government.

But, though, the Obama administration denies any coordination with the
Assad regime, U.S. Officials confirmed the Syrian government did have
advance warning. U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power informing her Syrian
counterpart of the impending strikes. And, according to Deputy National
Security Advisor, Tony Blinken, Iran got an advanced notice from the U.S.
as well.

Joining me now, NBC News Foreign Correspondent, Ayman Mohyeldin.
Ayman, what struck me today as we were talking last night, the question was
this is a pretty bold move to begin this on the eve of the U.N. General
Assembly week. You are going to be face-to-face, rubbing held bows with
all the world leaders, how -- what the reception going to be? And, what
struck me today was not much but a shrug and a thumbs up from a wide
variety of nations that are in New York for UNGA.

AYMAN MOHYELDIN, NBC NEWS FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. It
gives you a sense of how there is international consensus about the need to
address this issue. I think the fact that it happened on the eve of the
United Nation, I think that was a very important sign that was being sent.

And, certainly, from the U.S. perspective carrying out the strike with
five Arab counties gives it that type of Arab legitimacy that this is not
U.S. military unilateralism again in the Middle East. But, there is broad
public support among some very important moderate Arab countries.

HAYES: I was thinking today running through the nations` and/or
entities that are either actively supporting have announced their support
or tacitly supporting, you know, military action against ISIS, and it is
everything from Iran to Saudi Arabia to Qatar to Hezbollah to Israel to
France to the U.S. to al-Qaida, who is also fighting ISIS. I mean never in
the history of the region, perhaps the world, has one entity united so many
across so many lines as ISIS has in this very moment.

MOHYELDIN: It speaks to the brutality of the group. It speaks to the
fact that it is widely rejected by the entire Muslim world. Its tactics
are barbaric. It has zero official appeal from states or from the majority
of people in the world. Its recruits, really, and the people who are
joining its ranks come from a small minority. Their extremist ideology
does not resonate loudly in any part of the world.

The problem, though, is they are lethal. They have demonstrated their
willingness to be barbaric. They have killed a lot of people in the name
of what they say is their version of religion. So, I think, at the end of
the day, these people are all uniting against them because they are not
carrying in broad message of hope or any kind of message that matters, but
the fear that they are instilling in people is a major, major nuisance to
the entire region.

HAYES: The big question now, of course, becomes what this
intervention into the most -- possibly the most complicated battlefield in
the entire world, that is the Syrian Civil War in which there are six,
seven, eight, probably hundreds of individual groups fighting under
different banners. What happened next? And, how adding this intervention
to the very intense chemical mixture that is happening there? What it
does? What happens next?

MOHYELDIN: It has complicated the situation on the ground in so many
ways. It definitely has compounded the problems taking place. Not because
the U.S. does not have a basis to attack ISIS, but, by doing so, it has
inadvertently also aligned its interest with that of the Syrian government.

Now, keep in mind that Syria had been warning for some time that it
was not going to accept the U.S. carrying out these strikes. It had warned
the U.S. not to do it without its consent. Obviously, the Syrian Air
Defense System and the Syrian Government did not try to intercept any of
these U.S. coalition air flights from the Pentagon briefing we heard today.
So, it is an indication that at least the Syrian Government tacitly
accepted this reality.

HAYES: Yes.

MOHYELDIN: But the question is, why? And, the indication is because
of the fact that the Syrian Government wants ISIS destroyed just as much as
the United States. But, so do the moderate rebels who are now going to be
empowered to take on the regime in Damascus even more, perhaps.

HAYES: Ayman Mohyeldin, thank you. Since President Obama announced
the expanded campaign against ISIS, it has been no secret that this is an
operation, the administration expects to go on for quite some time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. OBAMA: Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL.

CHUCK HAGEL, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: This will not be an easy or a
brief effort.

REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: I can tell you that last
night`s strikes were only the beginning.

LT. GEN. MAYVILLE: Last night`s strikes are the beginning of a
credible and sustainable persistent campaign.

PRES. OBAMA: This is not going to be something that is quick, and it
is not something that is going to be easy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: And, while the White House may be committing this country to
years of more war, it is not particularly clear at this moment what the
legal rationale for the war is or whether it has been fully authorized by
commoners. Joining me now, Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat from
Connecticut.

So, Senator, your understanding we have now struck in a nation that we
were not involved in kinetic military activities with before. Your
understanding of the White House`s legal rationale for being able to do
this without any explicit authorization from congress.

SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, (D) CONNECTICUT REPRESENTATIVE: Well, so far, the
White House has run the gamut in terms of drawing on authority. They have
drawn on the Article II Constitutional Authority. They have drawn on the
9/11 AUMF Authority that gives them the power to go after al-Qaida, saying
that this is essentially a follow on organization from al-Qaida.

And, then we are hearing today that they are also drawing upon the
Iraq war authorization, which ironically, earlier this year, the
administration was arguing to have repealed. None of them worked. The
reality is that there is no legal justification today for the
administration to engage in a long-term conflict with ISIS.

And, the complexity that this war has now entered into as we are a
full-fledged participant in the civil war in Syria, begs congress to come
back and debate this. It looks as if we may be headed for a debate after
the election. But, the horse may be out of the barn by that point. We
should be coming back and talking about this now.

HAYES: So, Senator, are you saying that what happened last night was
illegal?

SEN. MURPHY: I do not think the President has the statutory or
constitutional authority to undergo this level of airstrikes on ISIS
without congressional authority. Now, it is not illegal in the sense that
he is still under the war power`s act. So, when the war power`s 60-day
time frame expires, then he needs congressional authorization. But, at
that point, this is a war in a conflict that does not have constitutional
cover.

HAYES: So, just walk me through that. The president did -- the war
powers act is a separate kind of architecture of permission than the
authorization for use military force constitution or 2002 Iraq
Authorization for Use of Military Force, all had been fleeted by the
administration all on the table. War Power`s Act, you received Speaker
Boehner and I believe Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid received a war
powers notification that sort of starts a clock running. What does that
mean now?

SEN. MURPHY: So, the War Powers Act is not an authorization. It is
effectively the understanding between congress and the executive that we
are going to give the President a 60-day period of time with which to start
conducting operations before he explicitly needs the authorization of
congress.

And, so, the clock has started on operations in Syria. But, many of
us who would argue that even major military operations against ISIS in
Iraq, which started several weeks ago also need authorization as well.

And, Chris, what is mystifying to me today is to listen to this
unquestioning applause of these airstrikes. It may be that this is
necessary in order to take out ISIL. But, there is no way to beat this
organization with a military strategy alone. You need a political
component. And, it is still a little murky as to whether we have any
realistic strategy inside Syria to take out ISIS and ISIL in the long run.

HAYES: Senator Chris Murphy, thank you very much. Joining me now is
Congressman Chris Van Hollen, democratic from Maryland. And, Congressman,
you made some news last night. I believe saying that congress should come
back, come back right away and deal with this. Vote on this. Vote on the
fact that U.S. is bombing Syria and up or down, either authorize it or say
it is not authorized. Why do you say that?

REP. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN, (D) MARYLAND CONGRESSMAN: Because, Chris, I
think congress has a duty and a responsibility to weigh in on this issue
and not adapt this issue. As you and Chris Murphy were discussing, the
president has stated that he has authority under the 2001 Authorization to
Use Military Force against al-Qaida. That granted a very broad authority.

And, if congress does not come back and make it clear that, that
authority should not extent to allowing U.S. ground combat troops to go
into Iraq and Syria, it is a dereliction of duty because under the current
interpretation, that would be allowed.

And, it seems to me, we have got to be sure that we do not get dragged
into another Iraq war. The President has made clear his intention not to
put ground troops into Syria and Iraq. But, it seems to me congress has an
absolute obligation to make it clear that, that is not authorized going
forward.

HAYES: You, guys, had a chance to do that and left town. I mean
everyone knew this was coming. And, you know, it was pretty clear. There
was not a lot of appetite. The one vote there was on was on arming and
training the Syrian rebels. That passed by pretty wide margins both in the
house and the senate. There was zero appetite to vote explicitly on this.
So, what -- you know, what is going to change?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, first of all, Chris, I did have serious misgivings
about the authorization on the Syrian rebels and we can talk about that. I
voted against that provision. But, you are absolutely right. This
question of redefining and having a new vote on the 2001 AUMF has actually
been something some of us in congress have been trying to get for two years
now.

Congressman Adam Shift for each of the last two years has proposed an
amendment on the defense authorization bill that would have sunset that
2001 AUMF. And, then forced congress to grapple with whether we want to
get it off the books or whether we want to reshape it to make sure that we
do not get sucked into another Iraq. And, that amendment for two years in
a row has been defeated.

So, it is way overdue to have this debate. The President, himself,
last year in a speech at NDU, the National Defense University, indicated
that the current authority was very expansive. That it gave the executive
branch a huge amount of running room. And, the President said to congress
he wanted to work with congress to reshape it.

Congress ducked the issue, again, by a majority vote saying they did
not want to do that. They did not want to act in an affirmative way to
redraw the 2001 Authorization. So, I hope now -- now that the clock has
ran for over two years, congress does its duty and comes back and deals
with this one way or the other.

HAYES: Speaker of the house has shown no reticence to take
extraordinary procedural measures on a whole wide variety of things
including suing the president nonpresidential action over the one-year
postponement of the collection of a single tax, the ACA, but MIA on war and
peace. Congressman Chris Van Hollen, thank you.

VAN HOLLEN: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: More coverage and debate of this year`s most reaction to come
in this hour. And, former Congressman Barney Frank will be here, ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Tonight, there is a news organization that is reporting that
following the airstrikes in Syria, there is a, quote, "New Terror Alert"
here at home. And, that, that reporting is just not true. A terror alert
would be a notice from Homeland Security to raise the threat level and that
has not happened.

What has happened is that Homeland Security and the FBI have advised
local law enforcement to be on the look out for any possible retaliation
for the airstrikes. But, there is no information about anyone such plot.
According to NBC`s Pete Williams, this kind of bulletin has become routine
after U.S. military actions. Again, there is no, quote, "New Terror
Alert." We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. OBAMA: Last night, we also took strikes to disrupt plotting
against the United States and our allies by seasoned al-Qaeda operatives in
Syria, who are known as the Khorasan Group. And, once again, it must be
clear to anyone who would plot against America and try to do Americans harm
that we would not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our
people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: One of the most remarkable things about the President`s speech
today was that he almost casually noted that in addition to hitting ISIS
targets, the group we have all been focused on for months, the U.S. also
hit another cell called the Khorasan Group.

Senior U.S. Defense Official told NBC News, the strikes were asked for
by intelligence agencies as a, quote, "Last-minute add-on." Attorney
General Eric Holder said U.S. intelligence agencies have been aware of the
group for two years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We hit them last night, out of a
concern that they were getting close to an excuse phase of some of the
plans that we have seen them fermenting over the last two years. And, the
hitting that we did last night, I think will probably continue until we are
at a stage when we think we have degraded their ability to get at our
allies or to the homeland.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Officials today stressed the danger of the group to the U.S.
But, if you never heard of the Khorasan Group before, you are not alone.
Before today, there were about 90,000 Google search results for the word,
Khorasan, since January of 2000. In less than 24 hours, it has jumped
almost 700,000.

In fact, before last week, when the AP wrote about, quote, "A cell
known as the Khorasan Group, a cadre of veteran al-Qaida fighters from
Afghanistan and Pakistan, who traveled to Syria," you will be hard pressed
to find any mention of Khorasan Group anywhere.

Congressman Peter King suggested the name itself was classified
saying, quote, "I am surprised the name you have came out, it was supposed
to be top secret classified." Not only is the name out, but a group that
most Americans have never heard of before today is being bombed by a U.S.-
led coalition.

And, to complicate matters further, the Khorasan Group is associated
with the al-Qaida and Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra. A group that is
officially, right now, at war with ISIS and fighting them with a lot of
vigor, the other people that we are bombing.

Joining me now -- we were going to go to Istanbul for Mike Giglio for
Middle East Correspondent from BuzzFeed is going to join us. We are going
to try to get him. But, joining me now, William McCants, Director of the
project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic world at the Brookings
Institution.

All right, William. Khorasan Group, I think a lot of people were
scratching their head. It was in "The Times" about two days ago. There is
an AP piece before than and then today, it was like, "Yes, we bombed them
as well." Who are they? What is the deal?

WILLIAM MCCANTS, THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: You know, that is right.
It sounds like something out of Star Wars. But, the group has been talked
about, albeit not with its name attached since last year. It is headed by
a fellow who might be dead now. Who used to run al-Qaida`s operations
through Iran.

He was the money man who also helped move recruits. He was sent to
Syria in order to investigate and see what the nature of the split was
between this Nusra organization and ISIS. He later shifted his focus to
external operations apparently under the authority of Ayman al-Zawahiri,
the head of al-Qaeda.

HAYES: OK. So, there is a bunch of things that kind of -- that could
get your head around here. First, and very importantly, Nusra Brigades, as
I understand, Jabhat al-Nusra is the kind of official al-Qaeda franchise in
Syria in the Syrian Civil War. And, the Khorasan is the kind of elite
forces adjunct to them. Is that correct?

MCCANTS: That is right. There are also reports, though, that
Khorasan may have split from them. It is very murky for those of us on the
outside trying to read the T-leafs. There is not a lot of detail about
this group.

What we have been told by U.S. Intelligence is that it is a collection
of people who have some skills that make us worry a lot, particularly bomb-
making and being able to put bombs in items that would be carried onto
airplanes.

HAYES: They were described by some senior officials as an imminent
threat, and then another senior officials talking to NBC News said, "Well,
not imminent in the sense that there was a plot that was in motion that was
going to happen in a matter of weeks." So, again, it remains a little
unclear, the specific nature of the concern. We have just been told that
it was imminent. The definition of imminent as a legal matter has been
something that is expanded quite a bit over the last 13 years.

MCCANTS: That is right. And, I share the public`s confusion. I
could not make sense of the contradictory statements of the officials. It
seems that at the baseline of this organization was plotting attacks in the
near term within several months either in Europe or in the United States.
And, it had to do with public transportation, probably airplanes.

HAYES: OK. So, now we have Jabhat al-Nusra associated with al-Qaeda
-- affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Khorasan Group. There is ISIS and
Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS have been at each other`s throats and fighting
brutal battles together.

One question about the bombing here is if the U.S. starts bombing an
adjunct of Jabhat al-Nusra , that is the al-Qaeda affiliate, and they are
also bombing ISIS, whether what ends up happening is through our bombs, we
bring them back together and take them from fighting each other to
collaborate with each other.

There was some evidence today on social media both from Jabhat al-
Nusra folks and ISIS folks calls for the two to unite against the U.S. How
likely do you think that is? How much is that something that we should be
looking for?

MCCANTS: Yes. Right. I think that brings Jihadis together, like the
United States.

(LAUGHING)

HAYES: Right.

MCCANTS: But, it is going to be tough to do. There are real
differences between them. There is blood on the floor. They have been
fighting one another tooth and nail. It is going to be hard for them to
reconcile. But, the pressure of U.S. strikes continuing over several weeks
maybe hat it takes to bring them back together.

HAYES: Can you explain what the fight is? I mean I think part of
what makes very difficult to track what is happening in Syria is that there
are so many groups in there and they are often fighting with each other.
And, I think there is assumption, "Well, they are all Jihadis." What is
their beef? I mean why are these groups fighting each other as violently
as they have been?

MCCANTS: Right. It is a question of who gets to control the rebel
pushback against Assad inside of Syria. And, the main beef is between
Nusra and ISIS is over who controls the territory. ISIS came out and said
it was in charge of the Nusra group that Nusra was actually an auxiliary of
ISIS. And, Nusra refused to bend the knee and pledge the direct dealt of
allegiance to al-Qaeda.

Zawahiri tried to settle the mess. ISIS would not listen and al-Qaeda
finally had to kick ISIS out of the organization. So, ISIS is no longer a
member of al-Qaeda in good standing and it has been fighting with this
Nusra Organization from months now.

HAYES: You know, in a really interesting interview with Mike Giglio
of BuzzFeed with the Nusra official saying, "We are fighting with the
rebels. We are fighting with their alliance against the other alliance.
So, why attack us?" This is in response to attacks against Nusra Brigade
targets. "We did not do anything against the U.S. We just want to fight
Assad." Do you think that is true?

MCCANTS: I think that is true for most Nusra guys. They do want to
just fight Assad. I do not think they have any aspirations to come after
the United States any time soon. But, they answered to Zawahiri, who runs
al-Qaeda.

HAYES: Right.

MCCANTS: And, he very much wants to go after the United States.

HAYES: William McCants, thank you very much.

MCCANTS: My pleasure.

HAYES: The enemy that will not explicitly threaten us but will be far
more destructive when all is said and done than ISIS. That is ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: All eyes were on New York City in the run-up to this week. It
was set to be the site of what organizers built as the largest climate
march in history, which lived up to even surpassed the expectations on
Sunday with an estimated 400,000 people marching through Manhattan, about
four times as many as were expected.

Plus, more than 120 heads of state, including the President, himself,
were headed to the city for the opening of the U.N. Climate Summit. That
got underway today and is seen as a chance to lay crucial ground work ahead
of next year`s meeting in Paris, which will basically be the kind of do-or-
die moment for global collective action to cap and reduce emissions.

We are either get it together, start off on a path toward recovery or
start our decent into, well, dystopian chaos. I exaggerate only slightly.
Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, dozens and dozens of world leaders,
the question of whether or not we are trying to save our planet from doom
was commanding a ton of attention and then this happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: I have breaking news. The Pentagon has
just released a statement confirming that U.S. Military aircraft have just
commenced bombing in Syria.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: With that, the theme of this week`s news coverage took a turn.
Today, the President was speaking live at the U.N. calling for serious
action.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We
know what we have to do to avoid irreparable harm. We have to cut carbon
pollution in our own countries to prevent the worst effects of climate
change. We have to adapt to the impacts that, unfortunately, we can no
longer afford to avoid.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: But, that call to arm was subsumed today by discussion about
the war on ISIS. And, of course, that is the entire problem in a
nutshell, is not it? Carbon pollution does not release monstrous slickly-
produced propaganda videos.

But, it does threaten our way of life. And, for all the fear of ISIS
penetrating our borders, it should be noted that climate change is a threat
that is already lapping at our shores. And, the climate change threat is
one we can be sure will not be solved with military might. We will be
right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: Did not take very long for politics to reenter the fray.
Once U.S. airstrikes got underway ISIS and Syria, Former U.S. Senator Scott
Brown of Massachusetts would like to become Senator Scott Brown of New
Hampshire, today, released a campaign ad targeting his opponent Senator
Jeanne Shaheen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT BROWN, (R) FORMER MASSACHUSETTS SENATOR: Anyone who turns on
the T.V. these days knows we face challenges to our way of life. Radical
Islamic terrorists are threatening to cause the collapse of our country.
President Obama and Senator Shaheen seem confused about the nature of the
threat. Not me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: All right. There are a number of things that could be said
about that ad. But, most importantly, courageously repeating ISIS` threat
to collapse our country, to cause the collapse of our country serves
essentially to convert senatorial candidate into a megaphone for ISIS
propaganda, because no one other than ISIS thinks they are a threat to
collapse our country. Well, no one other than ISIS and, possibly --
apparently, Scott Brown.

But, Republican Party finds itself in an interesting position these
days. For more than a decade, following 9/11, the playbook of the
politics have threatened terror were pretty well established. But it is
much more complicated now.

The commander in chief is a democrat. The country is war-weary and
because the situation trying to defeat ISIS and unify an Iraqi government
and stay out of a Syrian Sectarian Civil War is a complicated mess. Nor
descent some democrats into knobs trying to work out a coherent position it
has, Republicans are in much better shape.

Of course, there are those Senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham,
who are quite consistent in their support for increased military escalation
and wider war. While Scott Brown tries to use ISIS to attack the Senator
Shaheen, there is also Senator Rand Paul who made one amounted to an almost
anti-war speech in the Senate Floor last week, even though he supports the
airstrikes themselves.

Just today, Paul said in a statement, quote, "I support action against
ISIS, but continued to believe the constitution requires the President to
receive congressional authorization." In fact, for all the Obama criticism
out there, the President is doing more or less what Republicans want him to
do.

And, so, the big question for Republican, six weeks before the
election is, what exactly is their message on this war and on foreign
policy right now? Joining me is Robert Costa, National Political Reporter
for the "Washington Post."

And, Robert, the most illuminating part all this to me is that John
Boehner is not going to have a vote. And, that tells you where -- They do
not want to touch this. They do not want to vote on it. They do not want
to have to choose.

ROBERT COSTA, "WASHINGTON POST" NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: There
has been a surprising, hawkish term within republican ranks in recent
weeks. But, you are right, Chris. They are not wanting to have a full
war debate on authorization because they think they can coast on this
hawkish impulse to the midterm. But, other than that, there is a lot of
disagreement within the GOP.

HAYES: Well, and I think also, everyone learned a lesson in 2003,
which is that one vote may look like a good idea at the time; but two
years, four years, five years, six years, hence if the whole thing is a
total disaster, you are going to be held accountable for it. So, instead
of learning the lesson of, "Well, let us vote and maybe vote no." The
lesson is just do not vote. Sit in the backseat and, you know, criticize
the President`s driving.

COSTA: The one thing I have heard from leadership sources in both the
house and senate is that a lot of republicans, right now, back home in
their states and in their districts are hearing mounting pressure to have a
vote.

HAYES: That is interesting.

COSTA: I think there is going to be pressure on both sides to come
back to the table and have this debate.

HAYES: That is interesting that you heard that, because I would have
not necessarily anticipated that. I think at sometimes it is a little
hard to separate out, what is the bubble of intensity inside the kind of
media, political complex and what is happening at home in districts and
states. And, it is interesting to hear that you are hearing that the
people want to vote.

COSTA: I think people on both sides of the aisle would like to see
congress debate this more fully. I was outside and inside the whole halls
of the house when this debate was going on. Hardly anyone in the U.S.
House was in the chamber for the final hours of the debate. People
watching this are skeptical whether there was the kind of robust discussion
that is necessary at this times of war.

HAYES: I also think it is interesting to watch the potential 2016
candidates try to navigate this very treacherous train. There was this
kind of libertarian impulse inside the grassroots conservative base that is
skeptical of military escalation intervention. That seems like it has
kind of been overtaken by a more hawkish impulse. And, Marco Rubio, who
often is a reliable weathervane on this sort of thing. He had this to
say. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK ANCHOR: If you ever became
President, if you ever had the interest, senator, would you advocate a
permanent U.S. troop presence in the region permanent?

MARCO RUBIO, (R) FLORIDA JUNIOR SENATOR: Absolutely. Let me give
you two examples of why. Number 1: The al-Qaeda mission -- I mean
mission to target Bin Laden would have been impossible without a U.S.
troop mission in Afghanistan. Second, you have seen what has happened in
Iraq, and people think that having troops on the ground in Iraq would have
prevented ISIL`s advances. To some extent, that is true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Permanent presence in the Middle East. After what we have
been through in the last 13 years, it is pretty remarkable to hear someone
say who is angling it looks like to run for President, eventually.

COSTA: It is surprising to hear republicans do this, but they really
believe they have an opening right now to challenge the President to say he
is not doing enough. And, they are going to talk about boots on the
ground. But, as that boots on the ground chatter continues, I think
republicans are going to -- perhaps, they are waiting to close to the Bush
era and the Bush legacy and voters are going to have some questions. And,
that is why people are claiming for this debate.

HAYES: That is exactly right, because I have been surprised by how
often this boots -- I would be shocked to see republicans call less ground
boots on the ground, because I think that is a massive political
miscalculation of where the party is. But, it might be where the elites
of the party more the basis. Robert Costa, thank you very much.

COSTA: Thank you.

HAYES: How do democrats feel about the president they elected to end
war starting one of his own? I will ask former Congressman Barney Frank,
ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: This weekend, MSNBC will air the first live broadcast ever of
the global citizen festival. I will be there with Alex Wagner for the
concert to end the extreme poverty. And, there will be performances from
Tiesto, The Roots, Alicia Keys, No Doubt, fun, Carrie Underwood and a man
name Jay-Z. It all starts at 3:00 P.M., Saturday. It is going to be
really, really, really fun. So, do not miss it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. OBAMA: The overall effort will take time. There will be
challenges ahead. But, we are going to do what is necessary to take the
fight to this terrorist group for the security of the country and the
region and for the entire world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: Last night, the U.S. began an air campaign against the Islamic
State in Syria. And, there seems to be two big questions here. The
administration does not have a definitive answer too. One, how long will
this go on?

Well, the Pentagon suggested the country, quote, "Think in terms of
years" and that last night`s strikes were only a beginning. Second
question is how much is it going to cost? Yesterday, White House Press
Secretary could not even give ballpark figure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I do not have an estimate
on that. I know that we are interested in having an open dialogue with
congress to ensure that our military has the resources necessary to carry
out the mission that the President has laid out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HAYES: We do know that this country has been waging war for 13 years
and a significant number of democrats voted for Barack Obama to end that
era of war. But, now it started to look what looks like a new chapter of
war. One that for all intents and purposes, is the president`s very own
even if it was created by the disasters and debacles of the president came
before him.

And, that has created a tension that bears out in the polling.
Gallop polling out today shows that almost a third of democrats oppose the
military action, U.S. is taking against in Iraq and Syria right now.
Nearly, a third of his own party, still a broad majority supports the
president.

And, that reflects what I recognized in people who I talked to. On
one hand, they are generally horrified by ISIS. They think they are going
to completely stabilize a region. They worry that they might threaten the
U.S. They think there is a good for trying to stop them.

On the other hand, they are also horrified by another bombing campaign
and another Middle Eastern country that might stand little chance of,
actually, improving the situation. Former Democratic Congressman Barney
Frank, he joins me to talk about why bombing, his words now, the murders
fanatics who called themselves the Islamic State, is a case of doing the
right thing for the wrong reason.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HAYES: We are back. And, joining me now as promised, with his view
on U.S. Airstrikes in Syria, former Congressman Barney Frank, Democrat
from Massachusetts, MSNBC Contributor, someone who voted against the Iraq
war back in 2002. And, Congressman, explain what you wrote today, that
this was the right war for the wrong reasons. What does it mean?

FMR. REP. BARNEY FRANK, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: We acknowledged the
mistake in the country because we did not intervene in Rwanda in the 90s.
Bill Clinton confessed to that in a very honorable way. We first bombed
this terrible group of people when they were threatening to murder
thousands and thousands of people on that thickened religious grounds.
That is we intervened to stop a genocide, on a smaller scale, but one that
was going to go forward.

And, I think that is why there is some ambivalence on the part of
people like myself, others who do not want to involve in a war. No, there
is no basis for us going into any of those nations and running the kind of
war that was intended to change the way in which they were governed.

There is a different case here, which is terrible people have
threatened to murder helpless people and we need to intervene and stop it.
And, that is what order being maintained. I am in favor of some continued
military effort to degrade their effort to murder people. But, to the
extent that it becomes a notion that we have to intervene within those
society, it is a mistake.

And, I think the President is making a fundamental alert by buying
into the group that is threat to us. They are not a threat to us. They
are a threat to our values. They are doing terrible things to people.
They are not focused oncoming to the United States. And, while I
appreciate the President saying he does not want to send in ground troops,
I am afraid that his reasoning is lending some support to that.

No, they are not a threat to the United States. It would be
obviously far better if they did not have power in the places where they
have power. But, it does not -- it is not within our power to stop that
from happening from outside. We can do what we did, intervene to protect
innocent people to some extent.

HAYES: So, then the question then becomes, though -- if
fundamentally, the kind of architecture for justification here relies on
this kind of humanitarian architecture, right? Stopping genocide in the
case of Yazidis and the case of Christians and Kurds, who they threatened
to slaughter wholesale. They kicked the Christians out of Mosul in the
most despicable way imaginable.

Then the question becomes, particularly the Syrian decedents and
expats, and activist that I have talked to over the last three years, who
basically thinks that is the justification we are going against Assad. It
has been the justification for three years as the guys has engaged in a
campaign for war crimes, basically unseen since Ruanda. It just seems that
if the humanitarian case is strong enough for ISIS, it was certainly strong
enough for Assad over the last three years.

FRANK: There are two differences. First of all, there is
practicality. When you are taking a moral action, you take it into
account. The fact is that intervening in Syria would have inevitably meant
getting deeply involved in the internal political situation in that
country. What we did with regards to the Islamic State was bomb people who
were attacking other people.

It did not involve this ongoing effort and I would be opposed to that
kind of an ongoing effort. It is also the case that you take into account
-- you are able to bomb them because they are out in the open. If they are
controlling the territory, well the bombs are not going to work. And, then
I think there is not a justification for it.

But, the argument that -- and, I do believe that what the Islamic
State was threatening to do months or so ago was somewhat different than
the situation. Assad is a terrible man. North Korea is run by a terrible
man. Zimbabwe is run by a terrible man. There are a lot of countries that
are run with terrible people.

That does not mean that you automatically or always militarily
intervene to make things better because you do not have the capacity to do
that, either financially or in fact. But when you have that situation, I
do think they are qualitatively worse than others. It is a mistake to say
that if you cannot do everything, you should not do anything.

HAYES: So, how then do you -- So, in the case of Mount Sinjar and
Yazidis, there is a pretty kind of discreet incidents there. In fact, it
recalled the last time of president`s support intervention, which was in
Libya in which there was a fear about what Gadhafi would do to the rebels
and civilians inside -- in Benghazi. The question now becomes, how do you
extricate yourself, not that the U.S. has started bombing Syria? Do you
worry about a kind of quick sand effect?

FRANK: Absolutely. And, by the way, the Libya is a good case. I
think retrospectively, we got too deeply involved in Libya. You can stop
bad people from doing things in a discreet situation. You cannot from
outside in a society that is driven by its own hatreds and disagreements.
Go in there and make things better.

Libya is in shambles right now. It is a terrible place and people are
under great attack. As Iraq was to some extent even before the ISIL people
started it. The way you do it, the President should remember what he said
before about not doing stuff that does not make sense. Yes, it is
legitimate for us. And we all felt that impulse, most of us, to stop these
people from murdering people.

But there is a limit to what we can do and the notion that we are
going to destroy them, get rid of them. I wish. I wish it was possible.
But, I do not see how it can be. I was reading the economists, the
responsible, moderate-type magazine. And, they say, Well, America now has
to go into Iraq and Syria and fix things, and we cannot.

HAYES: Yes. That is the hardest thing, I think, to center in
American foreign policy. What we cannot do. Former Congressman Barney
Frank, always a pleasure. Thank you. Joining me now, P.J. Crowley. He is
former Assistant Secretary of State in the Obama Administration.

And, P.J., I want to pick up this point because it seems to me that
there is two ways to analyze what is happening, at least two. I think
there is a legal question that we should get into further. But, let us
talk about efficacy and legitimacy.

So, first on the legitimacy question about how this is viewed
internationally, it looks like the Obama administration has done a pretty
good job and John Kerry about assembling this coalition and the reaction
today was not the kind of widespread condemnation you saw, for instance,
internationally, the U.S.-Iraq war in 2003. It does seem to have a kind of
international legitimacy even not if under the letter of the U.N. law.

P.J. CROWLEY, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE: I think part of
that, Chris, is because of the prominent role being played by the major
Sunni majority powers in the region. You know, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain,
Jordan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Ultimately, now given that at
the heart of this conflict, it is a civil war within Islam. You know,
these are actually the countries that if the region is to reject the vision
of the Islamic State, these countries and these people will play the most
decisive role.

HAYES: And, so there is this legitimacy question. And, again, I
thought it was striking today that even Ban Ki-Moon essentially tacitly
endorsed this the morning after this. I mean he comes out live in the
morning for a while. There is some pretty bad dudes in Syria. Then, there
is the efficacy question, right?

Where things seem to get much more torn, much more difficult to
predict, and there is an article in the New York Times just today,
basically, saying that the airstrike campaign in Iraq itself of ISIS, ISIS
has basically held its position. It has stopped their advance, but rolling
them back is proving much more difficult.

CROWLEY: Well, I think there are reasons to be optimistic on the
Iraqi side of the equation, because you have friendly forces in the Iraqi
security forces and the Kurdish Peshmerga. And, the airstrikes there are
designed to give them time to recover, to improve.

And, then, you know, it also to try to change the calculations of
Sunnis within Iraq that have looked at the Islamic State as the lesser of
two evils compared to an ineffective and divisive government in Baghdad.

The dilemma, on the Syrian side of the equation is right now we do not
have effective forces that are going to be able to retake territory that
ISIS has gained there. That is a multiyear proposition. And, that is
necessarily something that you can be assured that is going to work.

HAYES: Can you imagine -- can you describe for me the best-case
scenario? The happy ending in Syria of a successful coalition-led effort
like the one we started to engage upon last night. What is it -- what is a
thing to look forward to or an end-state to hope for as the ultimate result
of this?

CROWLEY: I think the most realistic scenario is you have a stasis,
you have the regime will control some territory, the moderate opposition
will control some territory and then the Kurds will control some territory.
This will go on for some time. It will run its course and then the door
will open some years from now to some kind of a political settlement. Yes,
the dilemma there is can Syria hold together for that long. That is a very
good question. Bosnia in the 1990s is will be a case of where some
elements have held together --

HAYES: And some did not.

CROWLEY: -- And some elements have did not.

HAYES: P.J. Crowley, thank you very much.

CROWLEY: Thank you.

HAYES: You know, if you are watching this right now, I want you to do
something. I want you to post on our Facebook page,
facebook/allinwithchris or tweet at me @allinchrishayes, questions you have
about what is going on. They could be very basic questions like, what is
the difference between Sunni and Shiite or who is Ahrar al-Sham? Or how
did Assad get to power?

Because I think there is a lot of confusion about some of the most
basic factual context here. We are trying to answer those questions as we
go forward. That is "All In" for this evening. The "Rachel Maddow Show"
starts now. Good evening, Rachel.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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